wouldn’t have been the same without its incredible dialogue. Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino’s series often had scripts twice the usual length, requiring the now well-known rapid-fire delivery by which Gilmore Girls squeezed every line into each episode’s running time. Despite how long the scripts or tight the time crunch, though, Gilmore Girls often let loose, with subplots that were no more than enjoyable diversions, and as such the series Gilmore Girls always struck the right balance between comedy and drama. The dialogue has a lot to do with that.
From “copper boom!” to “Oy, with the poodles already,” let’s take a look at the 100 greatest Gilmore Girls quotations, beginning with the series premiere.
1. “Pilot” (Episode 1.01)
“This is it. She can finally go to Harvard like she’s always wanted and get the education that I never got and get to do all the things that I never got to do and then I can resent her for it and we can finally have a normal mother-daughter relationship.” – Lorelai
Lorelai truly wants the best for her daughter and pushes her to be better than she ever was. Throughout the series, we see Lorelai celebrate Rory’s successes rather than resent them, showing her delight and excitement over her daughter’s dreams coming true.
2. “Pilot” (Episode 1.01)
Lorelai: “After all, you’re me.”
Rory: “I’m not you.”
Lorelai: “Really? Someone willing to throw important life experiences out the window to be with a guy? Sounds like me.”
On a surface level, Lorelai is somewhat right in this assumption that her daughter is her. But as the series progresses, it’s actually the stark differences between the two that suggest Rory’s more correct than her mother.
3. “The Lorelais’ First Day at Chilton” (Episode 1.02)
Rory: “You cannot date Luke.”
Lorelai: “I said nothing about dating Luke.”
Rory: “If you date him, you’ll break up, and we’ll never be able to eat here again.”
Lorelai: “I repeat, I said nothing about dating Luke.”
Rory: “Date Al from Pancake World; his food stinks.”
Even in the second episode, the show is teasing the possibility of a Luke and Lorelai relationship, which will stretch for the show’s entire run.
4. “Rory’s Birthday Parties” (Episode 1.06)
Lorelai: “And it’s so hard to believe that at exactly this time many moons ago, I was lying in exactly the same position—”
Rory: “Oh boy. Here we go.”
Lorelai: “Only I had a huge, fat stomach and big fat ankles and I was swearing like a sailor—”
Rory: “On leave.”
Lorelai: “On leave—right! And there I was—”
Rory: “In labor.”
Lorelai: “And while some have called it the most meaningful experience of your life, to me it was something more akin to doing the splits on a crate of dynamite.”
Rory: “I wonder if the Waltons ever did this.”
Lorelai: “And I was screaming and swearing and being surrounded as I was by a hundred prominent doctors, I just assumed there was an actual use for the cup of ice chips they gave me.”
Rory: “There wasn’t.”
Lorelai: “But pelting the nurses sure was fun.”
Time after time, Gilmore Girls comes back to this moment, once in a flashback (3.13) and again in a dream starring Madeline Albright (6.07). It’s pivotal to these characters, not just because it’s the story of Rory’s birth, but also because it’s the beginning of Lorelai’s independence from her parents.
5. “Kiss and Tell” (Episode 1.07)
Lorelai: “You really like him, don’t you?”
Lorelai: “Well, okay then. Just calm down.”
Rory: “I just don’t want to do or say anything else that’s gonna be remotely moronic.”
Lorelai: “I’m afraid once your heart is involved, it all comes out in Moron.”
Rory and Dean’s first “date” is one of the show’s first examples of how Gilmore Girls defies the mother-daughter dynamic. Lorelai tries to be more of a friend to Rory, while Rory expects more of a motherly, protective mother—mostly because she’s nervous about her date. It’s a sweet moment that seems tame in comparison to where Rory’s love life will go.
6. “Kiss and Tell” (Episode 1.07)
Lorelai: “Rory likes you.”
Dean: “Yes, she likes me, but you’re her best friend, and if you don’t like me, I won’t get anywhere.”
Lorelai: “I want to like you.”
Dean: “But you don’t like me.”
Lorelai: “But I want to like you… and I usually get what I want.”
While most people seem to choose “Team Jess” over “Team Dean,” one of Dean’s redeeming qualities is his respect for Lorelai. Dean knows just how important the bond between this mother and daughter is and does everything he can to win over not only Rory, but Lorelai as well.
7. “Love & War & Snow” (Episode 1.08)
“Tradition is a trap. It allows people to stick their head in the sand. Everything in the past was so quaint, so charming. Times were simpler. Kids didn’t have sex. Neighbors knew each other. It’s a freaking fairy tale. Things sucked then, too. They just sucked without indoor plumbing.” – Luke
As much as Luke clearly loves Stars Hollow, it’s nice that Gilmore Girls has at least one point of view that skews from the idyllic nature of the town.
8. “Rory’s Dance” (Episode 1.09)
Emily: “You’re going to lose her. You’re going to lose her just like I lost you.”
Lorelai: “I am not going to lose her, do you hear me? Even if I hadn’t gotten pregnant, you still would have lost me. I had nothing in that house. I had no life. I had no air. You strangled me. I do not strangle Rory.”
Emily: “Oh you’re so perfect and I was so horrible. I put you in good schools. I gave you the best of everything. I made sure you had the finest opportunities. And I am so tired of hearing about how you were suffocated and I was so controlling. Well, if I was so controlling, why couldn’t I control you running around getting pregnant and throwing your life away?”
Lorelai and Emily’s fight in “Rory’s Dance” is the first big fight we see between them, and it shows just how fragile their relationship is.
9. “Forgiveness and Stuff” (Episode 1.10)
Lorelai: “You know my dad is not a bad guy.”
Luke: “I’m sure he’s not.”
Lorelai: “He lived his life the way he thought he was supposed to. He followed the rules taught to him by his non-fishing, non-Barbie-buying dad. He worked hard. He bought a nice house. He provided for my mom. All he asked in return was for his daughter to wear white dresses and go to cotillion and want the same life that he had. What a disappointment it must have been for him to get me.”
Luke: “I can’t imagine anyone seeing you as a disappointment.”
When Lorelai’s father ends up in the hospital, we see just how splintered the Gilmore family has been since Lorelai’s childhood. But it’s also some of the earliest evidence of just how much Lorelai means to Luke.
10. “Forgiveness and Stuff” (Episode 1.10)
Emily: “Richard Gilmore, there may be many things happening in this hospital tonight, but your dying is not one of them.”
Emily: “No! I did not sign on to your dying. And it is not going to happen. Not tonight, not for a very long time. In fact, I demand to go first. Do I make myself clear?”
Richard: “Yes, Emily. You may go first.”
This is one of the first times we seen Emily and Richard alone together. Both characters can be cold and callous, but this simple scene shows the love between them—particularly heartbreaking considering the passing of Edward Herrmann, who played Richard Gilmore.
11. “Forgiveness and Stuff” (Episode 1.10)
Emily: “So what exactly is going on between the two of you?”
Luke: “Nothing. Really. We’re friends, that’s it.”
Emily: “You’re idiots, the both of you.”
So many people call out the obvious chemistry between Lorelai and Luke in Gilmore Girls. In a nice choice, the show decides to make Emily the first person to notice this connection, even if she’ll later disapprove of their relationship.
12. “Double Date” (Episode 1.12)
Lorelai: “Look, when I was a teenager, my parents tried to keep me locked up. They tried to force me to become what they had in mind, and now I’m not talking exactly about Lane here, but in my case, it really didn’t work.”
Mrs. Kim: “You blame your parents for getting pregnant?”
Lorelai: “No, I just think sometimes if I’d had a little more space or someone to listen to me, things might have turned out different. Now I got lucky, because having Rory—totally the best thing that could have happened. But let’s be honest, I certainly don’t want Rory to turn out like me.”
Mrs. Kim: “I don’t want Lane to turn out like you either.”
Lorelai: “Now I believe that’s the first thing that you and I have ever agreed on.”
This moment between Lorelai and Mrs. Kim allows Lorelai to explain exactly how she feels about her parents to someone who isn’t invested in her situation. It’s also important to point out that Mrs. Kim’s strictness does exactly what Lorelai warns her about, as Lane will eventually leave her mother’s home due to a lack of space and acceptance.
13. “Christopher Returns” (Episode 1.15)
Richard: “I had to tell my friends, my colleagues, that my only daughter, the brightest in her class, was pregnant and was leaving school.”
Lorelai: “That must have been devastating.”
Richard: “And then you run away and treat us like lepers. Your mother couldn’t get out of bed for a month. Did you know that? Did you?”
Richard: ‘We did nothing to deserve that. Nothing to earn that!”
often shows Lorelai’s side of stories, but this moment is our first sign that Lorelai is an unreliable narrator of sorts. We might think we know exactly what happened, but really, we’re only seeing events from her perspective.
14. “Christopher Returns” (Episode 1.15)
“Rory, I know you heard a lot of talk about various disappointments this evening and I know you’ve heard a lot of talk about it in the past. But I want to make this very clear. You, young lady, your person and your existence, have never ever been—not even for a second—included in that list.” – Emily
This moment shows the tender side of Emily. She doesn’t want to scare away her granddaughter but also wants to make it obvious just how much Rory was wanted.
15. “Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers” (Episode 1.16)
“So one night, cold and black with no light to guide them, they both snuck out of their homes and ran away as fast as they could. It was so dark out that they were both soon lost and it seemed as if they would never find each other. Finally, the girl dropped to her knees, tears streaming down her lovely face. ‘Oh, my love. Where are you? How will I find you?’ Suddenly, a band of stars appeared in the sky. These stars shone so brightly they lit up the entire countryside. The girl jumped to her feet and followed the path of the stars until finally she found herself standing right where the town gazebo is today. And there, waiting for her, was her one true love, who had also been led here by the blanket of friendly stars. And that, my friends, is the story of how Stars Hollow came to be, and why we celebrate that fateful night every year at about this time. Now, we still have a little time left in our story hour. Who wants to hear about the time I danced in a cage for Tito Puente?” – Miss Patty
When Miss Patty tells the origin story of Stars Hollow—one of many the series will present—it explains a certain amount of the town’s magic.
16. “Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers” (Episode 1.16)
Rory: “I had no idea that three months was the car anniversary.”
Dean: ‘Four months, you get a plane.”
Rory: “Boy relationships sure have changed since I was a kid. I’m having one of those moments right now.”
Dean: “What moments?”
Rory: “One of those moments that everything is so perfect and so wonderful that you almost feel sad because nothing can ever be this good again.”
Rory and Dean’s three-month anniversary is a reminder that their young love is relatively sweet and simple. Dean thinks building a car is a totally normal thing for a boyfriend to do, while Rory’s comment that nothing will never be this good again shows how much she still has to learn about love and the possibilities of her future.
17. “The Breakup, Part II” (Episode 1.17)
“Oh God, he’s got a nerve. I mean what does he think, he’s gonna do better than Rory? Is he crazy? Jeez. All right, well forget it, OK. Good riddance, adios, bienvenidos, hasta la vista.” -Luke
With Rory’s father, Christopher, out of the picture for most of her life, Luke is a sort of father figure to her. When Dean breaks up with Rory, we see just how seriously Luke takes his bond with her and shows his long-lasting distrust of Dean.
18. “P.S. I Lo…” (Episode 1.20)
Lorelai: “OK, you’ve been in this mood for a week now and while I love the unexpected ups and downs of motherhood, I’ve got to say I’m tired of Goofus and I’d like my Gallant back.”
Rory: “You can’t just say a normal sentence, right? Just ‘Hey, let’s talk’ is too dull for you.”
Following her breakup with Dean, Rory is understandably distraught. But this moment also points out just how unrealistic the dialogue in Gilmore Girls can be.
19. “P.S. I Lo…” (Episode 1.20)
“You know, I’m still learning this stuff, too, and since I’m still learning, I think I haven’t thought enough about what I’m supposed to be teaching you.” – Lorelai
If the first few seasons of Gilmore Girls have a through line, it’s probably that of the young mother and daughter trying to figure out how to navigate their relationship between parent and friend. Here, we see that Lorelai still doesn’t know exactly how to handle her motherly responsibilities, and when to be more of a mother than a friend.
20. “Love, Daisies & Troubadours” (Episode 1.21)
“No, it has to be planned. It should be magical. There should be music playing and romantic lighting and a subtle buildup to the popping of the big question. There should a thousand yellow daisies and candles and a horse, and I don’t know what the horse is doing there unless you’re riding it, which seems a little over the top, but it should be more than this.” – Lorelai
From her love of snow to her desire for big romantic gestures, Lorelai clearly wants as much magic in her life as possible.
21. “Sadie, Sadie…” (Episode 2.01)
Emily: “I want you to call Rory tomorrow and apologize.”
Emily: “I want you to call her and tell her you’re sorry. That you weren’t feeling well and you think that Dean is a lovely boy and he’s welcome here anytime.”
Richard: “Have you gone insane? Under no circumstance will I—”
Emily: “Our daughter is getting married. She’s getting married and she didn’t tell us. When Rory decides to get married, I’d like her to tell us. Call her tomorrow.”
While Richard and Emily would never admit that they made mistakes in raising Lorelai, they often treat Rory as their second chance. In this moment, Emily realizes that while it may be too late to patch up the past with Lorelai, it’s not too to hold on to Rory.
22. “Hammers and Veils” (Episode 2.02)
“I don’t know how to tell you things, Mom. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not, but we don’t communicate very well. When something good happens to me, I’m just afraid you’re gonna make me feel bad about it. And when something bad happens to me, I’m always afraid you’ll say, ‘I told you so.’ I’m not sure if that’s always fair, and I’m sure I share part of the blame for this circle we get into, but you think your words don’t have any effect on me, but they do.” – Lorelai
Even though there’s quite a history between Lorelai and Emily, both try their best to salvage what they can from their relationship. In this moment, Lorelai attempts to explain why things are often so difficult with her mother.
23. “Red Light on the Wedding Night” (Episode 2.03)
Dean: “Oh, yeah. Like, don’t ever use the last of the Parmesan cheese. And never get into a heavy discussion late at night ‘cause that’s when they’re at their crankiest. Oh, and uh, go with their bits.”
Max: “Their bits?”
Dean: “Yeah, like if you’re eating pizza with them and Lorelai decides that the pepperoni is angry at the mushrooms because the mushrooms have attitude, and then she holds up a pepperoni and the pepperoni asks for your opinion, don’t just laugh. Answer the pepperoni.”
When Max gets advice about how to deal with Lorelai and Rory only a few days prior to his wedding to Lorelai, it’s obvious that things aren’t going to work between them. It’s a sweet moment when Dean tries to explain what to do and what not to do with the Gilmores, but if it took Max this long to understand this, the marriage just isn’t meant to be.
24. “Nick & Nora/Sid & Nancy” (Episode 2.05)
“But me, raising a kid? I don’t even like kids. They’re always sticky, you know, like they’ve got jam on their hands. Even if there’s no jam in the house, somehow they’ve always got jam on their hands. I’m not the right guy to deal with that. I have no patience for jam hands.” – Luke
Luke might be the most unlikely person in Stars Hollow to raise a kid, but when Jess arrives in town, he’s thrown into a position that he never expected. Luke’s hilarious overreaction also shows how wrong he is, as Luke’s influence on his nephew’s life will turn out to be significant indeed.
25. “Like Mother, Like Daughter” (Episode 2.07)
Emily: “Funny isn’t it?”
Lorelai: “What’s funny?”
Emily: “How nicely you seem to be fitting into the world that you ran away from.”
No matter how much Lorelai tries to forsake the life her parents wanted for her, whenever she’s forced to enter that world, Lorelai fits in perfectly.
26. “The Ins & Outs of Inns” (Episode 2.08)
“I’m good at doing what I have to do. When I had to get a job, I got it. When I had to find a house for us and a life for us, I got it. When I had to get Rory into Chilton, I did it. But I don’t have to leave the Independence Inn. I don’t have to go into business for myself. I don’t have to walk out on that limb and risk everything I’ve worked for.” – Lorelai
When Lorelai considers starting her own inn, she questions whether or not she has the passion and fortitude to become her own boss, rather than doing what is easy.
27. “The Ins & Outs of Inns” (Episode 2.08)
Mia: “When Lorelai showed up on my porch that day with a tiny baby in her arms, I thought to myself, what if this were my daughter, and she was cold and scared and needed a place to live? What would I want for her? And then I thought, I’d want her to find somebody to take her in and make her safe and help her find her way.”
Emily: “That’s funny. I would’ve wanted her to find someone who would send her home.”
The meeting of Emily and Mia—Lorelai’s surrogate mother, of sorts—is a fascinating battle of parenting styles. While Mia accepted a young Lorelai with open arms, Emily would’ve done the opposite. It’s a shame Gilmore Girls didn’t do more with Mia, but the moments between her and Emily are electric.
28. “Run Away, Little Boy” (Episode 2.09)
“He has had to watch you go from one guy to another, and then the engagement, and then the engagement was off, and patiently he waited. And now in walks this kid and he says, ‘My God, will she date anyone else in the world before she’ll date me?’” – Sookie
The people in Luke and Lorelai’s lives know what their hearts really want.
29. “Run Away, Little Boy” (Episode 2.09)
Lorelai: “I don’t have very many people in my life who are in my life permanently forever. They will always be there for me. I will always be there for them, you know? There’s Rory and Sookie, and this town and… you. I mean, at least I think I’ve got…”
Luke: “You do.”
As if to solidify Sookie’s assumptions earlier in the episode, Luke telling Lorelai she’ll have him forever is a rare moment of sweetness. He clearly cares for Lorelai, but here we see just how much.
30. “Richard in Stars Hollow” (Episode 2.12)
“I am an annoyance to my wife and a burden to my daughter. Suddenly I realize what it feels like to be obsolete. I hope that you never have to learn what that feels like.” – Richard
When Richard retires for a short spell in Season Two, the realization that he doesn’t serve a purpose in his wife and daughter’s lives is heartbreaking.
31. “It Should’ve Been Lorelai” (Episode 2.14)
“I was just thinking, you know, all these years, no matter what my relationship status has been, whether I’ve been dating or hibernating or whatever, I think I’ve always had you in the back of my mind, you know. The prospect of us being together. But this prospect was sort of indefinitely on hold while you found yourself and got your personal life together so that you could really be there for me, and especially for Rory. But you and I have been so linked in my mind that I think I have unconsciously sabotaged every decent relationship I’ve had, including the one with Max, because I was waiting for you, and I shouldn’t have been. And now that I see that, and I see you settling down with Sherry, I think I can move beyond it.” – Lorelai
Lorelai admitting to Christopher that she’s over him is both a good idea and a terrible idea. On the one hand, she needs to say this to let him know what she’s thinking. On the other, it makes Christopher feel like she’s blaming him for holding her back from meaningful relationships.
32. “Lost and Found” (Episode 2.15)
Lorelai: “Oh don’t ‘whatever’ me, you little jerk! You let Rory run around completely panicked, thinking she lost her boyfriend’s bracelet. She was miserable, do you understand that?”
Jess: “I didn’t take it!”
Lorelai: “I’m sure you’re jealous of Dean because he’s great and Rory’s madly in love with him, but you taking the bracelet didn’t hurt Dean, it hurt Rory. That bracelet is the most precious thing she owns. She never takes it off. It means everything to her, and you stealing it was unbelievably cruel!”
Jess: “The ‘most precious thing she owns’?”
Jess: “If it’s the ‘most precious thing she owns,’ why did it take her two weeks to figure out it was gone, huh? You might wanna re-evaulate how madly in love she is. I wouldn’t start calling him ‘son’ yet.”
As boring as Dean would become, at least he respected Lorelai.
33. “Teach Me Tonight” (Episode 2.19)
Luke: “Hey, I am sorry about Rory. You know I care more about her than I do myself, but at least you know where Rory is and at least you know that she’s OK. Now I have to find Jess and I have to make sure that he’s OK, and if that cuts into your screaming time, well that’s just too damn bad!
Lorelai: “Go to hell!”
Luke: “Right back at ya!”
Luke and Lorelai’s first big fight is made even worse by the fact that both are technically right. Luke has to worry about where Jess has gone after he and Rory get into a car accident, but Lorelai is understandably mad that Jess caused the accident in the first place. While Luke can forgive Jess, Lorelai makes it clear she will always somewhat distrust the guy who broke her daughter.
34. “Can’t Get Started” (Episode 2.22)
“In fact, if you put oy and poodle together in the same sentence, you’d have a great new catch phrase, you know? Like, ‘Oy, with the poodles already.’ So from now on, when the perfect circumstances arise, we will use our favorite new catch phrase.” – Lorelai
“Oy, with the poodles already” shows the excellent and completely random asides this show could create. This moment has absolutely no bearing on anything within the episode but might also be one of the series’ funniest moments.
35. “Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days” (Episode 3.01)
“I always thought if he could just get it together, grow up, maybe we could do it. Maybe we could really be a family in the stupid, traditional Dan Quayle, golden retriever, grow old together, wear matching jogging suits kind of way. And then he did get it together—he became that guy and he gets to be that guy with her. Chris is gonna have a baby with his girlfriend. He’s gonna marry her and he’s gonna be there for her while she’s pregnant, and he’s gonna be there with her while her child grows up, and he’s gonna be there for her while she does whatever it is she does. And I am in exactly the same place that I was in before.” – Lorelai
No matter how much Lorelai’s life has changed, her dream of being with Christopher has remained constant. Whenever it becomes a viable option again, she reverts back to hoping once more.
36. “Haunted Leg” (Episode 3.02)
“By the way, I think you might be the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen, outside of a really filthy magazine.” – Kirk
As probably the weirdest of any of the Stars Hollow townies, Kirk, as played by Sean Gunn, has to find a perfect balance of being borderline creepy and endearing. There may be no better example of that than his line after asking out Lorelai.
37. “One’s Got Class and the Other One Dyes” (Episode 3.04)
“I’m not playing golden retriever, hoping one day she’ll turn around and fall in my arms. If she doesn’t wanna be with me, then fine!” – Jess
Even though they rarely see eye-to-eye, the one thing that connects Luke and Jess is their clear affection for the Gilmores. Jess might be incredibly rude in this moment, but he’s throwing some very harsh truths at his uncle.
38. “They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They?” (Episode 3.07)
“Oh please! You’ve been into him since he got to town, and I have spent weeks—months, actually—trying to convince myself that it wasn’t true, that everything was fine between us. But now I know that I was an idiot. You’re into him and he’s into you.” – Dean
As much as Rory has tried to stay loyal to Dean, their relationship reaches its breaking point at the Stars Hollow dance marathon. Dean and Rory might want to make it work, but it has been obvious for weeks that their relationship has been on a quick countdown to its end.
39. “That’ll Do, Pig” (Episode 3.10)
“One day I decided that instead of being hurt and upset by your disapproval, I’m gonna be amused. I’m gonna find it funny. I’m even going to take a little bit of pleasure in it.” – Lorelai
Emily’s mother-in-law, Trix, constantly insults her. When Lorelai explains to Emily how she deals with Emily’s own insults, it’s an oddly sweet moment of bonding between the two, who almost never agree on how to handle anything.
40. “Dear Emily and Richard” (Episode 3.13)
“They will get married, they will live here, and Christopher will go to work at my company. That is the solution. Now we have a plan so we can all stop talking about it.” – Richard
In this flashback episode, we see the reality of what happened during Lorelai’s pregnancy and delivery. Richard’s decisiveness in this moment shows his desire to end conflict and his eventual frustration that Lorelai diverted from his plan.
41. “Swan Song” (Episode 3.14)
“Oh, and that attitude—I wanted to slap that monosyllabic mouth of his. And God forbid they’re in another accident together or his heap of a car breaks down and Lord Jim has decided that cell phones are beneath him and they’re stranded in the middle of nowhere. How can you let this happen? He had a black eye. He belongs in jail!” – Emily
When Emily comes down on Lorelai for allowing Rory to date Jess, it’s hard not to agree with her, especially considering how disrespectful and rude he is in this episode.
42. “Face-Off” (Episode 3.15)
“Actually, I’ve had a little experience with being humiliated in front of the people I love, yes. Mom, please believe me, I know how important your pride is to you, and I never had any intention of robbing you of it. I feel terrible that I caused you any pain. I just wish that once in a while you might feel a little bit terrible that you cause me pain. I have pride, too, you know. And my husband travels and is very busy and I miss him and I’m lonely sometimes, just like you.” – Emily
We often see how little Emily can make other people feel, but the benefit of Trix’s appearances is it allows Emily to receive that same sort of treatment. In this rare moment of civility between Emily and Trix, Emily comes clean to how her mother-in-law truly makes her feel.
43. “Face-Off” (Episode 3.15)
Richard: “Do you really think he was wearing a track suit?”
Lorelai: “I don’t—“
Richard: “Well, I wonder if he was wearing Nikes also.”
Lorelai: “‘Just do it’ takes on a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?”
Richard: “I guess I’ve got a new daddy.”
The relationship of Richard and Lorelai is usually pretty cold, but this moment between the two of them is a heartwarming reminder that occasionally, Lorelai and her father can connect in very sweet and hilarious ways.
44. “Face-Off” (Episode 3.15)
“Well, ladies and gentlemen, much like the Israelites of yore, the Stars Hollow Minutemen languished in the desert for 40 years. But tonight, there was no Promised Land, no New Canaan, only a humiliating 5-to-1 defeat at the merciless hands of the West Hartford Wildcats. So, it’s back to the desert for the Minutemen, perhaps for another 40 years. Of course, by then I’ll be 70 years old. A lot of the rest of you will probably be dead. Taylor, you’ll be dead. Babette. Miss Patty. That man there in the hat.” – Kirk
Despite its sunny demeanor, Gilmore Girls always reveled in darkly funny moments, too. Here, Kirk points out that the next time Stars Hollow’s hockey team gets to the finals again, they might all be dead. He’s especially great at pulling off these dark moments with an innocence and weirdness that makes it work in this universe.
45. “The Big One” (Episode 3.16)
“You know, it’s funny, me standing here before you right now. I’ve thought about nothing else for four years but this school, this big important school with all of its history and tradition and really super teachers. And I dedicated myself to it completely, heart and soul, believing in its power, believing in its ability to get me where I needed to go. Harvard. I thought of nothing else. Many of you out there can attest to that fact. I was on my way and nothing could stop me. And here’s the really funny thing—after four years of slaving away, I go home today and I found this. I’m not going to Harvard. I got the tiny envelope, the one that reads, “Sorry, Paris. We’re not interested. Try again next year. Love, Harvard.” And the thing that’s really funny here is, who in the world deserves to go to Harvard more than me? Have you seen how hard I’ve worked over these past four years? I mean, can anyone here believe that I’m not going to Harvard? I can’t. I’m not going to Harvard. I am not going to Harvard. I had sex, but I’m not going to Harvard.” – Paris
Paris is one of the show’s most enjoyable characters because of her insane seriousness and solid demeanor. It’s when this exterior cracks, though, that creates some of her finest moments—as when her world crashes down after she loses her virginity, doesn’t get accepted to Harvard and has a breakdown on C-SPAN.
46. “A Tale of Poes and Fire” (Episode 3.17)
Rory: “Look at my wall.”
Rory: “So, that wall says something.”
Lorelai: “Yeah, it says the Harvard merchandizing department made a nice chunk of change off of us.”
Rory: “But how can I go to Yale with my wall looking like this?”
Lorelai: “It’s a wall. Look, honey, Luke was right. The pro/con lists have to come to an end eventually.”
Rory: “But Luke also reminded us that it was supposed to be Harvard regardless of a list.”
Lorelai: “I don’t. I don’t. I know I’m the one who said no to Yale loudly and a lot, but not anymore. Really, I just want what’s right.”
One of the show’s best lessons is that sometimes life doesn’t work out the way you wanted or expected, but sometimes those surprises can lead to even better opportunities. Even though Rory gets into both Harvard and Yale, her decision to go to Yale defies everything she thought she knew about what she wanted in her college education.
47. “Keg! Max!” (Episode 3.19)
“Hello, Mama? How are you doing tonight? It’s Lane. Yeah, Lane. Nothing’s wrong. In fact, I’m feeling pretty good right now. Had a beer and a half. Nice cold beer. And I just thought I’d tell you, I’m drumming in a band tonight at a party and we rocked. We were The Clash and Rage Against the Machine and Nirvana combined. And I’m in love with Dave Rygalski. He’s my guy, not Young Chui. Young Chui’s a ship in the night, Mama. Not even a ship, he’s a little tugboat tooting along and I’m not gonna go to the prom with him, uh uh. I’m going with Dave because we rock together, Mama. The charade is over.” – Lane
The relationship between Lane and her mother was always just waiting to fall apart. When a drunk Lane calls her mother and finally explains what she wants and who she is, it’s a disaster, but it’s also a cathartic experience for both Lane and the audience.
48. “Say Goodnight, Gracie” (Episode 3.20)
“A few weeks ago you told me that Lane had a crush on me. Well, I have a crush on her, too. Now, I know you have very strict rules about dating and boys, but I just want you to know that I’m a good person. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I’ve never gotten a ticket, I’m healthy, I take care of myself, I floss. I never watch more than 30 minutes of television a night, partly because I think it’s a waste of time and partly because there’s nothing on. I respect my parents, I do well in school, I never play video games in case they do someday prove that playing them can turn you into a serial killer. I don’t drink coffee. I hate soda because the carbonation freaks me out. I’m happy to give up meat if you feel strongly about it. I don’t mind wearing a tie. I enjoy playing those hymns on my guitar, and I really, really want to take your daughter to the prom. Mrs. Kim? Please don’t make me repeat that list again.” – Dave
Dave is exactly the type of guy Mrs. Kim should want her daughter to be with, and in this monologue, Dave makes his case.
49. “Here Comes the Sun” (Episode 3.21)
“You have nothing? I have nothing! I have no place to go. I can’t stay at Luke’s, I can’t stay in Stars Hollow. My mother is a wackjob. I mean, you’re saying you’re this loser and what, you don’t wanna take me off this terrific path I’m headed down right now? I’m not graduating high school, I don’t know what I’m gonna do with the rest of my life, but something’s telling me I better find out soon or I’m gonna be that guy out there on the boardwalk selling the hemp hats.” – Jess
Jess’ spinoff thankfully never happened, but this moment where he explains just how lost he is to his father is one of the episode’s few saving graces. Jess always puts up such a tough guy exterior, so having him come clean about his internal struggle is a rare glimpse at who Jess truly is.
50. “Those Are Strings, Pinocchio” (Episode 3.22)
Rory: “My mother never gave me any idea that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do or be whomever I wanted to be. She filled our house with love and fun and books and music, unflagging in her efforts to give me role models from Jane Austen to Eudora Welty to Patti Smith. As she guided me through these incredible eighteen years, I don’t know if she ever realized that the person I most wanted to be was her…”
Sookie: “Not crying.”
Lorelai: “Crying a little.”
Sookie: “Crying a little, but not blubbering. That’s what we meant when we said no crying. No blubbering.”
Rory: “Thank you Mom, you are my guidepost for everything.”
Rory’s graduation from Chilton might be the show’s most emotional moment so far, and it knows it. Rory’s speech is beautifully handled and presents her as a strong woman, but to counteract this overwhelming show of emotion, Gilmore Girls has some fun by allowing its characters to react to this moment naturally and humorously.